From seasoned yoga enthusiasts to celebrity personal trainers, it seems like everyone is raving about the endless benefits of Pilates. This popular exercise programme doesn’t simply help you burn off excess calories – regular sessions will strengthen your core and improve your balance, co-ordination and flexibility. High profile celebs such as Cheryl Cole and Madonna have been singing its praises for a number of years now, but if you’re entirely new to the concept of Pilates, exactly how do you follow their lead and start to incorporate the programme into your routine?
If you just want to give it a try, we’d naturally recommend popping along to a local gym or Pilates studio for a group taster session. However, Pilates devotees are developing a noticeable penchant for one to one coaching sessions instead. Why, we hear you ask? Well, here are five reasons why we believe attending one to one Pilates classes will help you see quicker results and will ultimately be a valuable long-term investment for your mind and body.
1. Getting Initiated With Pilates Will Be A Breeze
There’s nothing more daunting than walking into a new exercise class for the first time, especially if you’re relatively new to the gym or have decided to brave a session without the support of a friend. You may feel as though the class is moving too quick for you or, even worse, you could slip into bad habits from day one if no-one is at hand to keep you on top form. So why not banish your anxiety altogether and opt to work with a Pilates coach on a one-to-one basis instead?
Working closely with a trained instructor means you’ll be given the very best introduction to Pilates possible. You’ll soon feel your first-time nerves disappear as you begin to understand how everything works and discover exactly how the programme is going to benefit you.
2. You’ll Get To Know The Specialist Equipment At Your Own Pace
Sticking to mat work won’t necessarily give you the results you need. To really feel like you’re getting the most from your session, you’ll need to start using some of your studio’s specialist equipment. Your personalised induction will teach you how to use this equipment with confidence and you’ll feel more comfortable with using some of the scary-looking machines, from the fairly basic ladder barrel to the elegant yet complex Reformer. Learning exactly how to approach each piece of equipment (and use it to your advantage) is invaluable, as you’ll be able to draw upon this knowledge as your Pilates programme evolves.
3. You’ll Receive a Tailored Exercise Programme That Will Meet Your Individual Needs
Another great thing about booking a personalised Pilates session is the fact that your instructor will be able to carry out a comprehensive fitness assessment before you even begin to exercise. He or she will be able to discuss any health conditions or other limitations that might prevent you from performing certain moves and, best of all, will be able to help you work out exactly what you want to achieve from your Pilates classes. It sounds simple, but knowing which exercises are going to help you achieve your goals will keep you motivated if you’re lacking enthusiasm or having a particularly difficult session.
4. You Will Be Able To Use Pilates as a Means of Rehabilitation
If you’ve been struggling to recover from a recent injury, you may benefit from regular sessions with a Pilates-trained physiotherapist. Plenty of physios are tapping into the benefits of Pilates as an effective means of therapy alongside traditional rehabilitation techniques. This means that more and more specialists are combining these skills and earning qualifications in both fields simultaneously. Whether you’ve recently sprained your ankle or suffer from chronic back pain, you’ll be confident that all of the exercises your instructor asks you to do will strengthen your body, not aggravate the problem even further. The Australian Institute of Physiotherapy and Pilates (APPI), train physiotherapists to teach Pilates and have an excellent high quality training school, turning out highly trained Pilates instructors, with the benefit of Physiotherapy back grounds.
5. Your Instructor Will Push You Harder Than You’ll Ever Push Yourself!
Why do so many people prefer to work with a personal trainer? Because they want to train hard, of course! Your Pilates instructor will be at hand to recognise when they need to take your session up a notch and will introduce new and exciting exercises and techniques when they believe you’re ready to cope with them. Your session will never be dull and the constant variety will encourage you to keep coming back for more, plus having an expert by your side every step of the way will inspire you to push your body just that little bit harder. This will typically result in noticeable results in a much quicker timeframe.
Gina Jenson worked as a personal trainer in a previous life. She now spends her time writing insightful fitness articles for the online community on behalf of the Stretch clinic, which offers one-to-one Pilates classes in Chelmsford for those who want to reap the benefits of this exercise with the right training and direction.